July 27, 2013
Let’s face it, most of what passes for advice these days focuses on self-actualization. Websites like Sevenly, who promote generosity, are rare. Helping oneself to a piece of the pie is a much more common theme.
Teaching kids about a God who loves them unconditionally is really not that difficult. The challenge is when we take kids to the next step; loving others. While this needs to be fostered in the home, as church leaders we must do whatever we can create an atmosphere that fosters selflessness. Here are just a few ways to help kids LOVE the world.
Giving Besides watching a child give his life to Christ and accept the gift of salvation, watching kids develop a generous heart is my greatest joy in ministry. I have been blessed to see letters children have sent to relatives asking that the Christmas money usually spent on them be directed to a mission or service project. I have watched with joy and fascination as kids dig into their pockets for their money, not simply take the quarter they have been given by their parents. Children bloom as they discover the joy of a generous heart. As leaders we need to create many opportunities for kids to learn and express hilarious generosity.
Embracing It’s not hard to talk to kids about accepting someone who is “a bit different.” Children understand fairness about as well as they understand anything. But most kids are looking to make sure they are not treated unfairly. As we open the door to other cultures, whether in our country or around the world, it can be transformative. It goes beyond, but includes compassion for their peers; it includes living differently so as to help someone else feel the love of God. Children will either, retreat further into their own world and become more self-centered (as a defense mechanism), or they will catch the opportunity that God tosses to them and become world-changing kids.
Sharing If we offer engaging content and inspiring environments, kids will invite their friends. To make faith sharing a part of a child’s life, faith-living must be a part of their life. Kids don’t share what they don’t believe, further, they don’t share what they don’t love. As children move along in their walk with Jesus, sharing their faith story can be as natural as sharing sports stories or vacation stories. Children, and hopefully adults too, will naturally share the stories of the things they love.
We can make radical outreaching LOVE part of the DNA of our ministry, but like any desired outcome, it must be intentional.
What are you intentional about?
What are the desired outcomes for your ministry?
What are the desired outcomes of your life?
If this post blessed or inspired you, it would bless me if you shared it with those with whom you have influence.